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About Us

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IPANZ is a not-for-profit, membership organisation promoting improvements in public policy and in administration and management across New Zealand's public sector.


  • Was established in 1934
  • Has 160 corporate members
  • Has over 7,000 people in its database  
  • Has members from all tiers of government, the wider public sector and the private sector
  • Runs around 40 events and training courses every year
  • Has over 3,500 people who attend IPANZ events and courses
  • Annual turnover of over $600,000
  • Has one full time staff member and three part time staff 

We arrange:

  • regular seminars (lunchtimes) to hear views and insights from practitioners across the sectors
  • open discussions (generally early evening) to hear from expert speakers and debate the issues raised
  • occasional roundtable events for extended debates of major issues
  • public lectures to promote awareness and understanding amongst a wider audience
  • annual Public Sector Excellence Awards to recognise excellence in innovative practices
  • publish the Public Sector quarterly journal to consider issues in greater depth from a variety of perspectives
  • make submissions on enquiries of various types.

Through these activities we provide: a platform for vibrant debate on emerging and controversial issues; and a forum for networking, ideas, learning and development.  We also celebrate excellence in public administration and management in New Zealand.

Today our membership includes individuals and organisations from across the public sector, representing central and local government agencies, Crown entities, universities and other academic institutions, and those in the private sector with an interest in building and maintaining a strong public sector in New Zealand. The total number of staff in these member organisations is over 156,000.


IPANZ offers a wide variety of benefits and opportunities to all of our members. We also have IPANZ networks - a New Professionals network for people under 40 or new to the public sector; and an Auckland network. These groups run seminars and events and offer an excellent opportunity for networking.

Our History

In 1934 a group of public servants in Christchurch, moved by ‘their desire to learn something of the broader background and common principles of public administration which might not be evident in the ordinary work of a department’ formed the Public Service Administration Society.  Similar societies quickly cropped up in Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland.  In 1936 these groups joined forces to become the New Zealand Institute of Public Administration.


Born in the dark days of the Depression, the Institute has made its way through the disruption of World War II, the stable post-war years, the economic and social challenges of the sixties and seventies and the reforms of the eighties to the position it now holds; the professional organisation committed to the development and promotion of informed debate and critical analysis. Seventy years on, the present members of the Institute can be confident that they are on the same path as the founders, for whom the first objective in the Rules of 1936 was ‘the development of the public service as a recognised profession’.
- Spirit of Service: A History of the Institute of Public Administration New Zealand 1936-2006, John R. Martin


Eighty years on, IPANZ continues to have a significant place in New Zealand public policy and is New Zealand’s leading professional organisation for public servants.